There are now so many apps in the Google Play store (1,418,453 to be precise at time of writing according to AppBrain), catering for practically every need conceivable. So, as a developer, when it comes to looking for some inspiration as to what you should start putting your creative energies into next, the problem can often be that you simply just don’t know where to start your search.
Even with top seller lists and Editor’s Picks and Top Paid and Top Free categories there to help you refine your searches, when looking for something truly inspirational to get your creative brain ticking, it can still be an extremely difficult task to find something new and innovative that you haven’t already seen 1.4 million times before.
And so we have done the hard work for you. We’ve taken the drollery of searching the Google Play store out of your hands, freeing up your time and creative capacity to just get down to the fun part of the business – playing with other people’s apps to get some inspiration for yours. The apps that follow are a mixture of paid and free ones, but all have been carefully chosen because they offer something clever or unique that a lot of other apps don’t. So rest assured that even if you do have to spend a few bob to try these ones out for yourself, you will be making a worthwhile and inspirational purchase.
1. HTC Zoe
I know what you’re thinking – not another camera app. But this is one with a significant difference. There are plenty of nifty tricks lurking inside Zoe, but the key selling feature is that it enables you to make short animated clips, which are then shareable with friends who also have the application – and they can make further edits on your work too. You can then share your finished collaborative pieces across social media, or simply keep it confined to Zoe’s closed network.
Glympse is an app that innovatively recreates the age-old check-in check-out location-based app concept. With it, you can share your location with everyone. It uses GPS to accurately pinpoint your location, and the results are sent to friends in a format that displays in the web browser of the recipient, which means that they don’t even need the app themselves to find out exactly where you are.
Similar to Shazam but a little more niche, WhoSampled is the app for music enthusiasts who are keen to know which of their favourite artists are sampling other works in their catalogue. It even scans your existing music collection and returns to you a list of exactly who your favourite artists have covered and/or sampled.
If you’ve maxed out your free storage on DropBox, then you’ve probably looked to Google Drive for some more – but the annoyance being that you now have to search through 2 databases of endless photos and videos to find what you want. But Unclouded is the app that allows you to simply integrate the two, letting you see what you’ve got backed up on each service in one place. This is a very simple yet undeniably inspired idea.
Horizon is a genius app. There’s no denying that it’s a one-trick pony, but it has to be said the trick is very nifty indeed. By normalizing the rotation of your phone’s camera using the built-in accelerometer of Android phones, Horizon is able to keep your videos straight and stable no matter how much your hand shakes or moves when filming. Nice one.
You know when you’re working away (or messing about) on your desk or laptop and are constantly being interrupted by your phone vibrating in your pocket? I know, I know – despite your best efforts, it’s still too tempting to pull the thing out and have a look at the notifications on your lock screen. But, if you download Pushbullet and sync it with your browser, then all the notifications that appear on your phone will also appear on your computer screen. You can see who’s texting, calling, posting on your social walls, and your calendar reminders will all pop up on screen, too, meaning you can decide which to reply to and which to ignore without ever having to check your phone. Genius.
7. Google Translate
There are a few translation apps on the market, but this new offering from Google simply trumps them all. Google Translate offers translations for over 70 different languages, and, what is more, you can input via text, handwritten words, symbols, spoken words and even text recognition via the camera. The app will then return to you the translation either in the form of text or speech. All of this can either be done with a data connection, or, if you are travelling abroad and fear data roaming charges, then you can download some language packs, which you can use without any connection at all.
The Twickets app connects you to a platform where you can buy or sell spare tickets to events and gigs. However, what makes it so brilliantly inspirational is that the rule is that tickets can only be sold for their face value or less. This means that ticket touts are kept out, and genuine fans can recycle any spares or snap them up in good faith. Nice one.